LOOK: Maricel Soriano in drag with ‘Drag Race PH’s’ Xilhouete

Everybody can now go home. May nanalo na. Maricel Soriano isn’t called the Diamond Star for nothing. The 57-year-old actress released what may be our fave celebrity vlog of the year. Wittily titled “Pa Drag Race Den,” the vlog featured Soriano’s drag transformation with the help of The House of Xilhouete.

Fans have been wondering about Soriano’s surprise since her teaser drop with the caption, “Marya is out.” On Nov. 20, we finally got to watch Soriano transform into her drag persona, Kinang Inay (a nod to her moniker), and face off with “Drag Race PH” star Xilhouete.

In Kinang Inay’s own words, she’s giving Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga’s lovechild realness in head-to-toe black and a high ponytail with a big bow. But instead of the Minty Fresh-esque sultriness, Kinang Inay’s fierceness is tempered by her sweet smile. That’s mother.

The vlog intro imitated “Drag Race” with confessional-style footage, runway walks, and a lip sync battle of “Iconic,” a medley of iconic Marya lines. Were they able to get a double shantay or did host Baus Rufo of Bekenemen ask one of them to sashay away?

But before Soriano’s ruveal, we got to see the magic happen on the makeup chair and hear about how the Xilhouete and Soriano friendship started. “Kung hindi niyo alam, matagal ko na talagang nanay si Inay. And I’m so happy na naging nanay ko siya,” says Xilhouete. She spoke about learning of Soriano’s professionalism during her “Vietnam Rose” days and how they eventually became close on the set of their first project together.

Screenshot of an old photo of Soriano and Xilhouete together shown in the vlog

While “Drag Den” queen Shewarma was doing her makeup, Soriano also chatted with her about what it was like to have Xilhouete as her drag mother. “Totoo talaga ’yung line ni Xilhouete na, ‘Sa inyo na ang korona, I’m not here to compete’?” she asked.

“Totoo ’yun. Di talaga siya nakikipag-compete sa amin. Hinahayaan niya kami and mas tinutulungan niya kaming mag-grow sa drag namin as a director sa pinagtatrabahuhan naming bar,” replied Shewarma. “Never kong na-feel na nagmataas siya samin. Sobrang humble niya. Dami ko ring natututunan sa kanya. Sa dami ba naman niyang sinasabi, wala kang matututunan?” 

The queens faced off on the runway of the Pie Pak Vogue segment but took off their heels to have a chat before lipsyncing for their life. When asked about coming off as a kontrabida on the show, Xilhouete said, “Kung papanoorin mo siya talaga na hindi lang ang gamit mo mata, pati tenga, makikita mo na hindi naman talaga ako villain. However, there are just scenes during the run of the show na inadequate. Nawalan ng konteksto lahat ng confessionals ko… ang naging outcome niya, Nay, parang abrasive, arrogant. ’Yun ’yung disappointment ko in a way.”

After their heart-to-heart, the queens gave us a fun lip sync battle that had them clinching a well-deserved double shantay. Like Rufo said, mula noon hanggang ngayon, Soriano really is an icon of the gays. 

 

Photo from Maricel Soriano’s Instagram

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Amrie Cruz: Amrie is a nonbinary writer who likes to talk about politics, K-pop, and frogs. They have a dog daughter named Cassie who doesn’t go to school.